I've been thinking a lot lately about the books I read as a kid that turned me on to reading. I don't know why, but I've just been considering that. When I was at new-reader age, between the ages of 5 and 8, we didn't have a whole lot of money. My mom had just gone through a divorce, so she was paying the mortgage and all of the other bills for us by herself, often working three jobs to do it. Needless to say, the library figured greatly in our lives as a source for new books. The children's library in my hometown was really cool - it was in this old brick house, with all of the different rooms for different kinds of books, and off of the little kids' book room, there was an old bathroom with the door off the hinges that still had the original claw foot bathtub in it. They put all kinds of cushions and stuffed animals in it and we kids would climb in it to read or play while we were there.
As a kid, of course I started out with the usual great kid's books. I loved all of the Berenstein Bears books, and Dr. Seuss, etc. I started my love of mysteries early with Encyclopedia Brown, and as I got older, I checked out pretty much every Bobbsey Twins book in the library. I also read Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys approximately twice a year until I was at least 14. I still own every book L.M. Montgomery ever published and have read them all at least twice, and my copy of the entire Anne of Green Gables series is so well-read that pages are starting to fall out.
I got this great hard-cover set of classic children's books (that I still have) that I read and loved that included Black Beauty, Treasure Island, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, and Tom Sawyer - I was particularly taken with the last three. I fell in love with Pollyanna, with Pippi Longstocking, with Hatchet and Island of the Blue Dolphins. A Wrinkle in Time introduced me to awesome science fiction. I discovered my love of fantasy and mythology when I went into my elementary school library and picked up the biggest book I could find, The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea. And my mom bought me this children's series of somewhat simplified classic literature, so I realized pretty early that even the "boring classics" have great characters and stories.
So how about you guys? What books turned you into lifelong bookworms?